A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We love it when our clients call us because they've sold out of products. Nice problem to have, right? Especially in this economy! While we are probably best known as a firm for serving some of the bigger companies in Bend, we also take great pride in helping out the smaller businesses. Angelina Organic Skincare is a definite fav, and she just called to say they're working overtime to make batches of new products, thanks to standing room only traffic generate by the front page business section article we generated in the local paper last week. Way to kick off the holidays! If you care about your skin, check out Angelina's shop - in Bend or online. Bend woman’s business is skin care Angelina Swanson creates, sells products from location near downtown By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin Published: November 29. 2011 4:00AM PST What: Angelina Organic Skincare Products Where: 525 N.W. Hill Street, Bend Employees: Five Phone: 541-647-1655 Website: http://angelinaskincare.com/ For Angelina Swanson, beauty goes beyond the skin’s surface and permeates the body holistically. “Every woman is beautiful already,” Swanson said. “It’s just helping them bring that out in a healthy way.” Swanson, the founder of Angelina Organic Skincare Products, in Bend, said a product needs to not only aesthetically improve skin, but also nourish and nurture it. “The skin is your biggest organ, and it’s your strongest barrier,” she said. “You need to keep that intact and strong.” The company opened its doors in Bend on Northwest Hill Street four years ago. Five employees, including Swanson, work in the on-site store, the lab where the products are created, and the healing garden room, where massage and facial services are offered. The skin-care line, featuring more than 150 products, is sold through local and national spas, boutiques, rock-climbing gyms, natural food stores and other outlets. Products include body butters, masks, massage oils, sugar scrubs, face creams, the new Mojito Mint Pedicure line and the anti-aging line Youth in Bloom. A need for a remedy prompted Swanson’s creation of skin-care products. When working as a rafting guide in Arizona, Swanson said, she suffered from cracked heels. She tapped into her academic roots in botany and biology to make a treatment. “Desperation leads to innovation,” she said. “I couldn’t find a product that worked.” When Swanson, 37, moved to Bend 11 years ago, she worked as a massage therapist, using her own skin-care products when giving massages. As word spread about her products, she began getting requests from spas around town to make custom lotions and oils. Swanson sold her first tin of Skin Doctor, the treatment for cracked heels and hands, about 10 years ago, she said, and started selling online and wholesale in 2003. Over the past seven years, Swanson said, she has been working with Sage Spring Spa in Sunriver to develop various products. She makes all her products in her lab, consulting with cosmetic chemists and dermatologists. Using one of her slogans, Swanson said her products are truly “the alchemy of beauty:” an art and a science, which involves natural ingredients. “Trying to use all natural materials to create the same effect as synthetic materials is challenging,” she said. “You have to know your farmer. We work with farms all over Oregon and Washington.” Tumalo Lavender, off Connarn Road, supplies Swanson’s lavender and sage, while Dancing Bee Acres, in Irrigon, supplies her beeswax and honey. To be competitive in the international skin-care market, Swanson said, she makes it a priority to create products with organic, local and fair-trade ingredients, and to personalize the experience for her customers. One way she gives her customers a little something extra, she said, is by offering free facials on Fridays. Each woman can get one free 20-minute facial, she said. “It’s difficult for women to try a new product line. It can be expensive to switch over,” she said. “(The facials are) kind of a fun way to introduce women in town to our product line ... The customer can make sure they are getting the right skin care for their skin type.” With customers constantly demanding new products, Swanson said, she is always researching and formulating new treatments. “Our customers are very discerning. They’re label readers and are conscious about what they’re putting on their skin,” Swanson said. She said coming up with the perfect formula is no easy task. It can take years, but she said she enjoys the process of making something that not only smells good, but also is effective. “Our local customers are really our biggest testing ground,” she said. “We have pretty harsh weather here, so if our products are nourishing and effective in Central Oregon, then they’re good to go on the market.” Q: Why do you feel using local ingredients is important? A: A huge part of our business is connecting our customers with the source of their skin care. Making the connection with farmers brings more soul into the product we are selling. Our community has been struggling. It’s really important for all of us at the lab to do as much of our business as we can locally because we’ve watched a lot of our friends lose their jobs. Q: Where do you see your business going in five years? A: Our sales have doubled in the past year in the local and wholesale market. We just built a new online store, which we launched Friday, so we can focus on online national sales. Q: How do you decide what new products you are going to make? A: Our customers beg us and then we spend years trying to develop something that works for them. Q: What is the specific target of your skin products? A: Our niche is working with people who have sensitivities, damaged skin or skin that is out of balance. Q: What is your favorite product that you sell? A: The Youth in Bloom firming night cream, because I’m not getting any younger. — Reporter: 541-617-7818 rrees@bendbulletin.com